Japanese entrepreneur murdered by Italian, Ukrainian gangsters

  ROME -- A Japanese businessman has died in the northern Italian city of Udine after intervening to try stop a fight and being set on by a gang of Italian and Ukrainian thugs, police have said. 

  Shimpei Tominaga, 56, died on Wednesday after spending 4 days in the intensive care unit of Santa Maria della Misericordia hospital. 

  According to police reconstructions, Tominaga had come to the defence of a young foreigner who had sought refuge in the Buonissimo Kebab shop on Via Pelliccerie in the centre of Urdine at 3.30 on Saturday morning. 

  The foreigner was being chased by a group of young men, when Tominga and his friend had tried to calm the animosity of the situation. Tominga was punched by one of the young men, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement. He then suffered a cardiac arrest at the scene but was resuscitated immediately before being transported to hospital by paramedics. 

  Twenty-year-old Samuele Battistella, from Mareno di Piave has been accused of manslaughter following Tominaga’s death. Daniel Wedham, 20, and Abdallah Djouamaa, 22, both from Conegliano were also arrested in connection with the death. Two Ukrainian men, Ivan Boklac, 29, and Oleksandr Vitaliyovjch Petrov, 30, both residents of Italy, were also arrested. 

  The president of Friuli Venezia Region, Massimiliano Fedriga, noted that Tominaga had “shown all his courage to defend another person in difficulty. When this happened it left us speechless.” 

  “This recent period has seen a series of violent acts which are intolerable from every point of view. We cannot accept that our cities, which have always been an example of habitability, should be held hostage to the violent and aggressive.” 

  The Archbishop of Udine also commented on Udine’s death. “It is an episode which greatly wounds both our civil society and the ecclesial community of our Archdiocese: once again a creation who stood in the way of violence has fallen victim to that same violence.”